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Lucky Adventure Travel Indochina – Summer Promotion 2013

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA has launched “Great summer holiday with lucky travels” for summer promotion 2013 in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia. The program applies for all customers request tour on website from 25 March to 30 September 2013.

Conquering Fansipan Vietnam to be the champion

Fansipan is the highest peak of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, so it is called the “Roof of Indochina” while the local people call it Huasipan, which means large tottering rock.

Motorbiking Ho Chi Minh Trail, Vietnam - an unforgettable travel adventure

Riding a motorbike from the North to the South of Vietnam was an amazing experience. Now, while I didn’t ride the motorcycle on myself (Anthony did an amazing job!) it is still something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Discover Vietnam by cycling

People who had traveled to Vietnam agreed that it was an interesting experience in general, but the bicycle tours definitely brought more adventurous excitements.

A Look into Beautiful Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site and it really deserves the designation. It is one of the most exciting unusual places I have been to in my life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Great Red Spider Vietnam Motorcycle Tour with ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA - Part 3

Coming to the last part of Spider Group's story, let’s discovery the fascinating scenery with the wide open feeling when they were riding and other 2-day relaxing in Ho Chi Minh city before they came back home.

- The Great Red Spider Vietnam Motorcycle Tour with ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA - Part 1
- The Great Red Spider Vietnam Motorcycle Tour with ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA - Part 2

The Great Red Spider Vietnam Motorcycle Tour with ACTIVETRAVEL  ASIAThe Great Red Spider Vietnam Motorcycle Tour with ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA

Wednesday January 27th
Well we left Kon Tum this morning for another 280 KM or so ride and now we have arrived in Buon Ma Thuot, from now on referred to BMT. We left KT and hit the road. The sun was shining brightly and very hot all day. The ride was good, but long, especially since we took a couple wrong turns and ended up adding about 30KM's to our trip, which may not seem like much but is nearly an hour. This city is the capital of the Dac Lac province and the site of the last battle of the Vietnam war in 1975.....which was long after the Americans left.

This region is well known for its coffee and in fact Vietnam is the second largest coffee exporter in the world behind Brazil. And.....Vietnam has the largest per capital consumption of coffee in the world. This is hard to imagine after the coffee we have been having each morning. We passed through rolling hills the entire time with numerous coffee plantations. They are beautiful large green bushes with many white flowers. They put off a very pleasant aroma that fills the air. Driving along the roads in this area, we go by countless homes with the green coffee beans spread out on the front "driveway", if you will, drying. Some are very fresh and green, some are red and some are clearly nearly dried and more brown in color.

We also passed through many kilometers of rubber trees and there are pix of them in this section of the update. Seems like a very antiquated process but, nonetheless, there were literally thousands of trees for many KM's dripping slowly the rubber from the trees into small pans attached to the trees.

We have all decided that the North of Vietnam is has a lot more going for it than that part of the south we have seen.
  • Roads much better
  • Much cleaner
  • Better scenery
That said, we did have a good ride and stopped in Pleiku, which Bruce Wingman was stationed for a small amount of time during the war. We ended the day by riding on the most dusty, traffic jammed road we have yet to be on, which was under construction. It was a mass of cars, people, dust, trucks, buses and us of course. When we got the hotel we each went to rooms and when we turned on the showers, the black dirt just ran off our bodies.

Oh, and the latest 31 Card Game and who got the single update is in from yesterday and today. Bruce now has 4 wins after a face off with Kenny for the pot last night. And, Bruce also won the draw for the single room tonight meaning he would have it for the THIRD time. But being the good guy he is, he donated it to Dave Morocco Dryden.

Tomorrow is our last day of riding. We are headed for Nha Trang, which is directly east of here about 200 KM's and supposedly has the most beautiful beaches in all of Asia. We plan to leave early so we can get there for an early afternoon lunch and enjoy the place. We plan a going away party Thursday night in Nha Trang for our bike guide Kenny, our driver Luc and our mechanic Qin who will not be going on with us on Friday to Ho Chi Minh City.

Tomorrow is our last day of riding. On the one hand it seems like we just started the trip and its sad to be at the end of the ride. On the other hand, I think we are all happy to get back to civilization, a soft clean bed, a hard and hot shower and the little things that make travel more enjoyable. We are all looking forward to getting to Nha Trang and also onward to HCMC.

Thursday January 28th
Today we leave BMT for Nha Trang, the beautiful resort coastal city for the final push of our Hanoi to Nha Trang, 1,800 KM Journey. Five years ago or more I read a book entitled "Up Country." It was the story of a guy who rode a motor bike from Hanoi to Saigon investigating a murder that occurred during the Vietnam war. I promised myself that I would one day do a motorbike ride in the same fashion. After coming to Vietnam many time for business, this was the experience of a lifetime, a way to check off something in my Bucket List. A sense of accomplishment and happiness for sure.

As we pulled out of BMT this morning, everyone was aware that it was the last day of our long ride together. Strangers other than Steve, we became good friends, had great laughs and enjoyed a great experience together. The ride from BMT was across the high plains of Vietnam, the Highlands as they call them. About an hour into the ride, we rode up into the last set of mountains we would see before descending to the sea and the port of Nha Trang.

Dave Dryden reminded us that this road was the site of the largest exodus of people in the Vietnam war. When Buôn Ma Thuột fell in the final battle in 1975, thousands, if not millions of South Vietnamese fled down the road we rode on today. Fleeing for their lives from the North Vietnamese army.

The ride through the mountains was beautiful. A reminder of all the gorgeous mountains, passes and beauty that we have seen throughout our trip. As we descended down the steep hills we began to get a whiff of sea air every now and then and we know our journey was coming to a close.

Then as we rounded a bend and a steep decline, there it was, the ocean and the most beautiful scene we could have possibly imagined. We rode hard and reached the last 10 KM's of road that ran right along the seacoast. What a great last ride that was. The wind in our face, the cool air, the smell of the sea. We really soaked it up.

Later we had our farewell lunch with Kenny, Loc and Qin our guide, driver and mechanic. We toasted some beers and sent them on their way back to Hanoi. The bikers then went to a beach bar and reflected on the trip, our new friendships and the exciting next few days we have to enjoy Ho Chi Minh City. Its been a great trip, with great guys and memory of one sort or another for each of us.

Enjoy our last biking day pix and videos below, and be on the look out for our updates from Ho Chi Minh City in the next couple of days.

Friday and Saturday January 29th, 30th Ho Chi Minh City
We left Nha Trang on Friday late morning for a short hour flight to HCMC. Upon arrival we were very surprised to have a special greeting, arranged by the AB importer and distributor, Walter Gannon. He sent his large Bud Bus and Bud Angels as they call them to greet us at the airport and give us VIP travel for the 45 minute ride to our hotel.

We chilled out in the afternoon and mostly just walked around downtown HCMC. We are staying at the Caravelle Hotel, in the center of the city. There is lots of activity here. Then in the evening, Walter arranged for a reception in our honor at the Park Hyatt Hotel out on a veranda. It was USA-like BBQ and he invited all his management to come and join us. He also invited the US Ambassador to come and he did. He is in a group shot with us standing next to Bruce. After a fun evening at the reception, we returned to the hotel for a good night sleep.

Today on Saturday we had a tour of several places. The War Museum which was a horrible place where we saw the harm and torture that all sides in the conflict performed. We visited the Presidential Palace, most known for the scene when the VC tanks burst through the gates and took over South Vietnam, officially ending the conflict. We visited the Notre Dame Cathedral which is a replica of the one in France. We also saw the famous Post Office with its fabulous design.

We ended the tour with a lunch at a local restaurant which was excellent and had an old guy playing piano throughout. Then we had a farewell coffee with Dave Dryden who is flying out of HCMC back to London this evening. The rest of the crew will be hosted tonight for dinner by Amy Wu, former AB China and now the General Manager for the Circle K convenience business for Vietnam.

We depart the hotel at 4:00am Sunday morning to catch our departing flight, which leaves at 6:00am local time to Hong Kong and then on to Chicago. So this will be the final update for the Red Spider Motorcycle Tour. We hope everyone enjoyed following us on our exciting adventure. We had a great time, but everyone is ready to come home and see family and friends again.

Source: peterb.yolasite.com

Vietnam Motorcycling recommendation:
Motorcycling tours in Summer Promotion 2010
Motorcycling travel guides
Motorcycling tours in Vietnam

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Travel tips for adventure holidays in Vietnam

Imaginative travellers looking to head to south-east Asia might want to make Vietnam a priority stop-off, as a website has provided tips on how to survive a stay in the country.

Vietnam adventure holidays

Ha Giang Province Vietnam

Suite101 has reported that following the culmination of war in recent years, the nation's economy has started to "boom" and visitor numbers are on the increase.

It has thus offered some guidance on the best ways to stay safe and save money while journeying across the place.

An easy - and relatively cheap - way to get between destinations is to fly, the portal has advised, although those who do not fancy taking to the sky can travel by rail - along such routes as the Reunification Express.

Sturdy walking shoes are a must for those wanting to venture around by foot, along with sunscreen, shorts and loose clothing - although access to some temples and restaurants may require people to cover up.

Suite101 recently recommended a boat trip along Vietnam's Mekong Delta to individuals hoping to experience the country's diverse food and culture

Source: imaginative-traveller.com
Adventure Travel Resource

Friday, April 9, 2010

Six places you never thought you could afford include Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam

Dreaming of a far-flung vacation? This year, those out-of-reach destinations may be surprisingly affordable. Last year, we covered six places you never thought you could afford. This year, we've compiled another six hot spots, with a twist—while these locales may be expensive to get to, the in-country costs make the vacation budget easy. In fact, we've even compared these far-flung locales with more traditional vacation destinations to show you just how budget-friendly globe trotting can be. Read on to start planning this year's vacation of a lifetime.

Notre Dame Cathedral backside, Ho Chi Minh (Sai Gon)

Notre Dame Cathedral backside, Ho Chi Minh (Sai Gon)


Editor's Note: All price comparisons feature round-trip airfare, including taxes and fees. Hotel prices reflect the room's base price, are based on double occupancy, and do not include taxes and fees.

Buenos Aires

History, food and wine, art, and nightlife—there may be no better value-packed destination this year than Buenos Aires. Nicknamed the "Paris of South America", Buenos Aires can give you a cultural experience with both Latin American and European influences. And with the country celebrating its bicentennial in May, it's an ideal time to visit.

The country, still recovering from the peso crisis of 2001, offers a great value for overseas travelers, particularly Americans. At press time, $1 US gets you 3.86 Argentina pesos (see USATODAY.com's currency converter for current exchange rates), so your money goes far in-country. Frommer's notes that while the Argentinian economy has been steadily recovering, a Buenos Aires vacation still typically costs about 30% less than popular destinations in North America or Europe.

Airfare from New York City starts around $700 round-trip, taxes included, for travel in April and May; three-star downtown hotels can be found from $56, and one-bedroom downtown apartment rentals start at $250 per week. For two people traveling together, you can ballpark about $1,650 to $1,800 for airfare-and-accommodations for a seven-night vacation this spring.

Let's compare that price tag to a week in Paris during the same time period. Airfare from New York starts around $650 in April and May, a three-star hotel near the Champs-Elysees/Belle Epoque district costs $109 per night, and a one-bedroom Montmartre apartment can be rented for $436 per week. All told, a seven-night Parisian vacation starts between $1,750 and $2,100 for airfare and accommodations for two people traveling together. In this case, the base price for the Buenos Aires vacation cost about $100 to $300 less than Paris.

The real sticking point in Paris, however, is the currency exchange rate. At press time, $1 is worth just 0.73 euros. According to Parislogue, daily food expenses can cost up to $109 per person per day for three meals. Of course, that's budgeting on the high end, but already-pricey city costs and an unforgiving exchange rate can really add up.

Keep your per-day costs in mind when comparing destinations for your upcoming vacation—especially if you're the type of traveler that likes fine dining, shopping for souvenirs, and patronizing attractions with admission fees. In this case, you may find the far-flung destination is a lot more budget-friendly.

Ho Chi Minh City

A vacation to Southeast Asia is a bargain hunter's paradise, once you get past the airfare prices. Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City can provide travelers with worldwide cuisine, tailor-made shopping deals, and bustling nightlife, all on the cheap.

The U.S. dollar will get you about 18,685 Vietnamese dong (as of press time), and many travelers can comfortably get by on less than the equivalent of $50 per person per day. The region's countless options for affordable food, accommodations, transportation, and tours make sticking to a budget easy. The city's infamous street food carts offer delicious options for all three meals, but there are also plenty of higher-end establishments if you want to splurge.

Airfare from Los Angeles starts around $900 in April and May, and I found a three-star District 1 downtown hotel from $49 per night. For two people traveling together, base prices start at $2,143 for a week's vacation.

Let's compare prices to New York City, another major metropolis, commercial center, and major entry point for overseas travelers. Flights from Los Angeles start at $230 in April and May, and I found a three-star hotel in the Financial District from $175 per night. For two people traveling together, the base price comes to $1,685 for a week's vacation.

At first glance, Ho Chi Minh City seems more expensive—$458 more, to be exact. But let's take a closer look at your per-day costs. Realistically, travelers in Vietnam can expect to spend about $50 per day for food, attractions, and transportation. In New York City, that daily budget may be tricky (if not near impossible) to stick to. Consider that the average cost of a meal in the city is roughly $42; you're already planning for an inflated per-day budget. And back in 2007, the average price of a cocktail was $10. Going out for dinner and drinks could quickly cost you upwards of $100. Of course, there are ways to find cheaper eats, attractions, and transportation deals, but you've got your work cut out for you. That extra $458 in New York City may only go as far as a few meals, museum fees, drinks, and cab rides.

Consider, too, that Ho Chi Minh City provides the chance to travel halfway across the world for not much more money, as well as the opportunity to experience a different culture up close. Leaving your comfort zone and seeing a new country firsthand offers a whole host of benefits that can't be replicated stateside.

Once again, look at your travel habits critically when comparing possibilities. Do your tastes and activities tend to inflate your budget? How far will your money go once you're at your destination? Comparing average costs is a smart way to get the true value of your chosen location.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, in southern Poland, offers an affordable alternative to other European capital cities. Teeming with art and architecture, historical artifacts, fine food, and nightlife, Krakow rewards its visitors with a value-packed experience. Tour an authentic castle and its dragon's lair, feast on pierogies and bigos, and visit ancient churches and synagogues, among other countless options in the greater metropolitan area.

Poland is still on the zloty, which is good news for American travelers wary of the euro. At press time, $1 USD gets you 2.80 zloty, which goes a long way in day-to-day expenses such as meals and transportation. Spring airfares from New York City start at $615, and a three-star downtown hotel can be booked from $59 per night. A week's vacation (airfare and accommodations) would cost $1,643 for two people traveling together.

Let's compare a Krakow vacation with a trip to Florence, another major European city known for art, architecture, and culinary delights. Flights from New York to Florence start at $820 in spring, and a three-star downtown hotel starts at $92 per night. Two people taking a week's vacation could expect to pay $2,284 for airfare and accommodations—about $640 more than a comparable Krakow trip.

Then, consider how far the dollar goes in Poland compared to Italy (which is on the euro), and Krakow becomes an even more desirable destination. Meals in Krakow can be had for just a few dollars per day. In 2007, my friend and I often went out for dinner and typically spent in the range of $30 total for a multi-course meal, including drinks and gratuity. Pub food and more modest options can be purchased for even less. Additionally, the Krakow Tourist Card offers transportation and attraction admission on the cheap. Choose a two- or three-day pass for 45 zloty or 65 zloty ($15 or $23), respectively, and get unlimited travel on city buses and trams and free admission at up to 32 Krakow museums. If you didn't already consider Krakow a bargain, the tourist card adds even greater value.

Panama City

Frommer's describes Panama as "deliciously free of crowds"—and what better endorsement do you need? Even if you're based in Panama City, a range of outdoorsy activities including watersports in both the Caribbean and Pacific, bird watching, and hiking, can fill a vacation. Mountains, rainforests, and beaches are plentiful, creating a spectacular setting for vacationers, regardless if you want to break a sweat or just relax by the waves.

The country's currency, the balboa, is interchangeable with the U.S. dollar. Additionally, the dollar is accepted nationwide, so no worries about exchange rates or inflated prices here. Better yet, food and transportation are very affordable, and Lonely Planet estimates travelers can get by quite comfortably on $60 per day. Penny-pinching travelers should have no difficulty budgeting even less. Regardless of whether you want to scrimp or splurge, the possibilities are affordable.

Flights from New York start at $355 in spring and I found a three-star Panama City hotel from $60 per day. A seven-day vacation for two comes in at $1,130.

Let's compare a week in Panama City to a week in Miami. While at first this comparison may seem to be a contrast between outdoorsy adventure and city nightlife, both destinations offer easy beach access, rich Latin culture, and a laid-back atmosphere. Flights from New York start at $162 in April and May, and I found a three-star hotel in Miami Beach from $114 per night. A seven-night vacation for two would cost $1,122—just eight dollars less than a comparable Panama trip.

That paltry savings, however, would be blown by Miami's high food and entertainment prices. It's not unusual for cocktails to cost $10 and up, and many clubs will have a cover charge for you just to walk through the door. Unless you want a vacation full of deli and fast-food options, most restaurants will have an average cost of $25 per person. And in this glitzy city, the sky's the limit for boutique shopping and other entertainment options. At least the beach is free... but compared to Panama, in this case you'll be spending a lot more to stay stateside. With a trip to Panama City, you'll be paying a comparable base price for a chance to experience the unfamiliar, and expanding your horizons by immersing yourself in a new culture.

Auckland, New Zealand

It may take awhile to get to Auckland, but this Middle-Earth-esque, adventure-packed destination offers rewards for those willing to make the trek. Hike, surf, bungee jump, or stargaze; taste local wines and cheeses; or take a glass-bottom boat ride to see nature up close. Most amazing of all, perhaps, is that this far-flung adventure can be cheaper than a trip to Europe.

The value is in the currency. At press time, $1 USD buys you $1.40 New Zealand dollars, which goes a long way toward containing your in-country costs. Round-trip flights from Los Angeles cost $765 for spring travel, and I found a three-star hotel from $78 per night. A one-week spring vacation for two would cost $2,076.

I then took a look at a spring vacation in Hamburg, Germany, a strategic alliance city to Auckland and one also known for an artsy, creative culture; an active sporting scene; and fine dining. Round-trip airfares from Los Angeles came in at $807 in May, and a three-star hotel in the city center cost $115 per night. Based on these prices, a one-week vacation would cost $2,419 for two people traveling together.

While Hamburg is already more than $300 pricier than the New Zealand trip, the major sticker shock is the daily expenditures under the euro. As discussed in previous European comparisons, the dollar is still weaker than the euro, and inflated prices for food and transportation can add up fast. According to the TEFL Professional Network, a fast-food meal in Hamburg can cost 7 euros (about $9.50) and a beer 4 euros (approximately $5.40). It's not unusual for two- or three-star hotel rooms around town to go for 140 euros ($189 U.S.). Add in a few non-fast-food meals, museum admissions, some upscale cocktails, and you see where the budget is going.

Mumbai, India

Once known as Bombay, Mumbai offers the full range of emotions to travelers willing to take a thrilling, eye-opening ride. Expect a vacation filled with highs and lows—the best restaurants, the sleekest hotels, and pulsing nightlife, side by side with unavoidable poverty, hot climate, and crowds. Your visit will be what you make of it. But while you're here, the one thing you won't be is bored.

Airfare from New York starts at $855 for travel in April and May, and I found a three-star hotel from $88. A week's stay comes in at $2,326 for two. Once in Mumbai, $1 USD gets you 45 India rupees, and it's not unusual to pay $12 or $13 for a mid-range restaurant meal for two. Bargain for one-of-a-kind finds at one of the city's many bazaars, or take in the city's colonial and art deco architecture with a self-guided walking tour.

Let's then compare a Mumbai trip to a London vacation. Both are the gateway cities to their respective countries, serve as important commercial and tourism centers, and have thriving arts scenes and fashionable nightlife. Airfare from New York starts at $523 in spring, and I found a three-star hotel from $140 per night. All told, the base price for a week's vacation for two is $2,026, about $300 cheaper than Mumbai (on first glance).

The currency, once again, is what will make costs add up. The U.S. dollar is only worth about 0.66 pounds, and considering London is widely known as one of the most expensive cities worldwide, we budget-conscious travelers have our work cut out for us. Lonely Planet notes that a "good meal for two with wine" usually costs 80 to 100 pounds ($121 to $151), movie tickets are 10 pounds ($15), and transportation can add up without pre-ordered discounts (such as an Oyster card). The one silver lining is that all public museums are free, so your per-day costs could be kept down provided you stick to those establishments. Additionally, too, London features exorbitant airport taxes, which may increase your overall airfare and the base price of your trip. Any way you cut it, though, that $300 base price savings (compared to Mumbai) will quickly be eroded once you try to enjoy all London has to offer.

Source: usatoday.com

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